Mike Makaab: “Players don’t earn enough during their careers to be able to retire”

Mike Makaab: “Players don’t earn enough during their careers to be able to retire”

Mike Makaab: “Players don’t earn enough during their careers to be able to retire” 901 701 World Football Summit

Top agent Mike Makaab said he will use the WFS Africa platform to instil wise business investment for players post their playing days.

Makaab who runs the ProSport International and is considered the leading agent on the continent said players need to invest wisely for tomorrow, have a professional guidance and prudent financial planning in preparation for life after football.

Mike Makaab, founder of Prosport International

He said nothing beats financial education which provides calculated and structured investment for all football players especially those on the African continent.

In his interview with WFS Africa, Makaab said his other message at the summit would be that players should have forced savings as part of the investment fund which will come in handy after retirement.

“Players themselves have to be serious about their life after sport”

Q: How important is it for players to have a good management team?
A: I honestly believe it is crucial for all players to be offered an holistic management service, with their management team taking care of all the off – the – field issues (tax, investments, finance, sponsorships, PR, etc.), providing proper career guidance and ensuring a smooth transition for players, from their playing days to “life after sport”.

Q: Players, mostly on the African continent revert to living from hand to mouth soon after their playing days; what is the problem and how can it be solved?
A: In many instances, players don’t earn enough during their careers to be able to “retire” post – football. With others, it is poor financial planning during their playing days and “unwise” investments post – career. The problem can only be solved if the players themselves are serious about their “life after sport” and surround themselves with wise and sincere people, who can steer them in the right direction. Sadly, more often than not, this seldom happens.

Mike Makaab, founder of Prosport International

“This continent has and will continue to produce world – class footballers”

Q: How do you intend to use platforms like the WFS Africa, to harmonise and maximise getting a grant from either CAF or FIFA to help ex-players cause?
A: I think it’s much more than purely looking at a grant. In my opinion, it’s more important to educate players at a young age about the importance of prudent career planning, so that when they do retire they already have a plan in place for post – retirement, whether it be to stay in football in some capacity or to look at options outside of the football industry. Education is the most powerful tool you can give to anyone.

Q: What message will you deliver to the international audience at the WFS Africa?
A: It is my sincere wish that the rest of the world sees the massive potential in calculated and structured investment in football in Africa. This continent has and will continue to produce world – class footballers (Mo Salah and Sadio Mane are two of many examples currently plying their trade in one of the top leagues in world football). Most importantly, that investment should have an element of uplifting communities through projects of true empowerment. We all need to make a difference before we leave this world.

“Football can only be spoilt by those who have selfish agendas”

Q: Should there be a fee deducted from the players’ salaries for their future when they retire?
A: Absolutely, a “forced savings”. In Belgium, as an example, automatically 30% of a player’s salary goes into an “investment fund”, which they can only access at age 35. This money is taxed at a much lower rate than the salary they actually receive on a monthly basis.

Q: How is the relationship between clubs and intermediaries in general? Is there a good working relationship?
A: I think it varies. I can only speak for myself. I have been in the agency business since May 1998 and have worked well with almost every single club boss, locally and abroad, that I have dealt with. It is obvious that at times clubs and intermediaries will have differences, but those which impair relationships should be few and far between. I believe it boils down to the professionalism with which each party acts and it’s my maxim that the only deals that are ever truly successful and result in longevity of relationships are those in which all parties are reasonably satisfied.

Q: Summarise this sport in one sentence
A: Football is the most beautiful game in the world and can only be spoilt by those who have selfish agendas.